A healthy dental patient will have firm, pink gum tissue that keeps the teeth securely in place in the mouth. Though you may worry about yellowing or darkening in your tooth color, you might not realize that the color of your gums can change as well.
Not only will discoloration of your gums disrupt your smile’s appearance. But it may also indicate a problem with the health of your gums, teeth, and more. Do not ignore symptoms within your gums because they may often point to an issue requiring urgent dental attention.
You can feel more encouraged to talk to a dentist about your gum health when you know more about the potential dangers your smile might face. Read on to learn details about three ways your gum color may change what the symptoms could mean for your oral health.
Red, Irritated Gum Tissue
If your gums appear red, this is a sign of irritation and inflammation in the gum tissue. This can occur for acute reasons, such as harsh teeth brushing or flossing. But if this type of discoloration happens on a chronic basis, you might have gum disease.
This infection of the gum tissue is common but can cause serious damage to your gums, teeth, and jawbone if the disease progresses. Its early stage, gingivitis, can present with bleeding, swelling, soreness, and redness in the gums. The infection is easier to treat when diagnosed in the early phase, so do not ignore changes in your gum health.
Pale or White Gums
If your gums start to turn pale or white, this may also be a sign of an oral health concern. Pale gum tissue might develop due to anemia, a condition in which the body lacks enough red blood cells. A painful white bump might be a canker sore, which often goes away on its own.
However, white gums might also occur if you have oral thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth. Your dentist will need to evaluate the problem promptly in order to get rid of it. Do not delay gum treatment, or the symptoms may worsen.
Darkening in the Gums
Some people may have a naturally darker hue to their gum color. But if you notice that your gums seem to turn dark or black, then you should call your dentist right away. Not all changes in gum color warrant dental treatment, but you still need a dentist to evaluate the problem to make sure.
Hormonal fluctuations might lead to dark gum tissue. And some oral habits could cause this symptom as well, such as smoking. But blackening gums can also occur in the case of trench mouth, a severe form of gum disease. This infection can lead to intense pain and dental damage, so do not ignore this symptom. Contact your dentist for more details about how your gums can affect the rest of your smile.